Mark Newman

Here is the news

as prepared by the Thailand Ministry of Open and Honest Government

The Tsunami death toll rose sharply today. The figure was previously thought to be in the thousands. However the Department of Thailand's Self Image has re-calculated how a person qualifies as a victim. First of all a potential victim has to stick its hand in the air, wave and say "I'm dead, I'm dead!" However friends and family of the Monarchy have been excluded from this procedure, and as of last night the figure now stands at three. When questioned about the thousands of corpses washed up on the beach and the thousands reported missing the agency replied that it was doing its best to quash the foul rumors being spread by sensationalistic journalists determined to undermine the government prior to the upcoming election.

And in election news - The opposition leader has announced plans that his party will sue the government for defamation of character of one of it's members. The alleged comments were made by one of the Thai Rak Thai government party officials in the run up to the election. In turn the government party is suing the Democratic opposition for using stickers that showed misleading quotes of His majesty the King. In retaliation the Democrats have sued the sticker company who made the signs and the sticker company has sued the knackers yard where they buy their horses that make the glue for the stickers. The knackers yard are said to be thinking about suing someone but as yet they can't think of anyone. A spokesman for the Democratic Party was asked if Thailand was becoming more and more like the United States with the handing out of frivolous law suits and endless litigation. He replied "That's a damn lie, and if you repeat that in your paper I'll sue the crap out of you!"

In Education news - A British English teacher who had been fired for failing a student has been reinstated. Last month Trevor Brigham was dismissed for failing a female student. He commented at the time that the student had "showed up for almost no lessons and the ones that she had shown up for she was disruptive and rude, doing no school work whatsoever." However - after a meeting with the governors of the school Mr. Brigham released a statement that revealed that he had made a mistake and that the Prime Ministers daughter was in fact a model student who was a pleasure to teach and had passed all her exams with top marks.

The forward thinking Thai government has now made it illegal to sell cigarettes individually. A spokesman from the government department of Taxing Children issued a statement saying that it was better for all concerned if school kids were forced to buy whole packets of cigarettes to propel them towards paying the appropriate taxes. It was thought that now that kids have to buy complete packets of cigarettes they will smoke more and pay more indirect duties into the state, erm... ‘coughers!'

Last month the Thai Government made it an offence for shops to sell alcohol between 2PM and 5PM. The success of this initiative has prompted the government to introduce more rules of a similar nature. As of April the 1st Thais can't buy light bulbs from 1:00 AM to 4:00 AM to save the Kingdom some electricity. Furthermore; the sale of ladies lipstick has been restricted. Now you can only buy cosmetics during daylight hours in months with a P in it if there is a disco on that night! When challenged on this new rule the government responded by saying "This is the first time we have had any kind of real power, and we are having trouble adjusting!" There has been a rumor that the government is planning to restrict the opening hours of shops that sell space ships and anvils.

Three teenagers who were arrested over the weekend on minor drugs charges have died in police custody. A post mortem on all three youths revealed that they had all died of natural causes.

At a summit of South East Asian nations held in Bangkok over the weekend there were angry voices raised over the apparent racism used by America and Great Britain in their treatment of refugees and immigrants especially from South East Asian countries. In a related story - a white man was recently given duel citizenship of Thailand. However it has been issued only for a probationary period. A spokesman for the Department of Immigration commented that "if the bastard even so much as looks at a policeman in the wrong way he will be shot and carved up like the filthy bastard pig that he is and his new passport would be rescinded and shoved down his fucking throat." Last year in a similar situation, a white man was issued Thai citizenship, but it was quickly withdrawn. At the time immigration spokesman Yabaa Dabbadabbadoo said "It was a genuine mistake. We thought he was one of us."

Poverty has been abolished in Thailand and that's official. A jubilant Prime Minister faced the press today and told the enthusiastic crowd that "Poverty is no more. In the future we will call it ‘financially disadvantaged.'" Government critics remain skeptical.

An editorial in last weeks Bangkok Post that accused government ministers of eating their ice cream before their main courses has been hotly disputed by government officials. The editorial staff of the Bangkok Post have all been mysteriously fired.

The South continues to give the government headaches. After several insurgent attacks on government buildings and employees the Minister for Opinion Suppression, Colonel Zippitup Keepitshut insisted that the military were taking a softly softly approach to the attacks in the south and insisted that he didn't want to provoke the insurgents and make matters worse. The leader of the opposition was overheard saying that "if they had wanted to make matters worse down south the government should hold a press conference and have Thaksin simply say the first thing that came into his brain, and that should do it!" He later denied the comments, saying that he was on medication at the time and didn't know what year it was because of those funny Chinese people chanting outside his house all night!

Finally sports news... Manchester United traveled to Arsenal yesterday for a thrilling game of football. Arsenal had the lead going into the second half but United hammered the home team 4 goals to two. In other sports news - some other football games were played and some teams won and some lost and some drew. Some other sports were played and stuff, but who really gives a rats arse, eh?

Next month - Illegal drugs and bird flu... What the government doesn't know can't hurt you - can it?


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